According to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Canada, Mexico and the United States generate nearly 265 million tons of organic waste every year. Less than 75 million tons are diverted through composting and anaerobic digestion, meaning roughly 190 million still ends up in landfills.

This is only a 28 percent diversion, which falls in line with reports from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the EPA, food scraps and yard/grounds waste currently make up 20 to 30 percent of all materials thrown away in the U.S., presenting facilities with an opportunity.

Facilities could save, and sometimes make money by increasing their composting programs. Doing so not only keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane (a potent greenhouse gas), but facilities can either reuse the organic material in their grounds care programs or create a revenue stream by selling compost to local businesses.

Composting can be simple. It only requires equal amounts of three basic ingredients:

· Browns — This includes materials such as dead leaves, branches and twigs. These provide carbon for compost.

· Greens — This includes materials such as grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps and coffee grounds. Green materials provide nitrogen to the pile.

·  Water — Water provides moisture that will help break down organic matter. Having the right amount of water, greens, and browns is important for compost development.

Can Be Composted

Cannot Be Composted

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The Future Of Zero Waste